To the editor:
As part of my campaign for a seat on the Croton Harmon Board of Education, I’ve had the pleasure of your company and your questions. I’ve had the opportunity to speak to residents of every age, living in many areas of our district. Here are some of the fantastic ideas brought to my attention that I’d like to implement given your support:
A Board of Ed member should be required to attend all salary negotiations. This includes meetings with the lawyers representing the Croton Teachers Association. It may be advisable to bring in a labor lawyer to facilitate salary negotiations for non-union staff positions.
There are districts that use collaborative agreements to determine administrative pay packages. Working together with neighboring districts Croton could see substantial cost savings in administrative salaries and benefit packages.
Busing is overextended in the district. The distance a student’s home is from his/her school is what determines busing eligibility. Students living in flat areas of the village that have sidewalk availability could be walking to school, perhaps with a parent leader for the younger set. Reducing the number of buses would cut fuel and maintenance costs. Croton could make do with fewer drivers and hire more crossing guards to facilitate this.
Students could benefit from getting involved with the process of setting district policy. A student committee comprised of members of both the middle and high schools would bring a unique perspective to the table. Committee members could be elected by their peers to serve a term of one year.
Staff development is another area of contention. Teachers are routinely pulled out of the classroom for professional development classes. This includes teachers who are retiring and will not even have the opportunity to implement what they have learned. The district taxpayers are paying for both the development classes and the substitute teachers that need to be brought in. I am not in favor of halting staff development; I support bringing educational experts in for ongoing staff development in the classroom with teachers learning by doing.
I hope to continue our discussions as a school board member. Please contact me with questions and concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Lisa Cohen, Croton-on-Hudson